In an update from Disaster Child Care, volunteer staff have assessed needs for child care following a recent tornado in Tennessee, and staff and volunteers have participated in special training events. Disaster Child Care is a ministry of the Church of the Brethren General Board.
Robert Roach, child care volunteer from Phenix, Va., traveled to Dyersburg, Tenn., to assess the need for child care services following an F3 tornado on April 7 that cut a path of destruction 24 miles long across 21 counties in western and central Tennessee. Roach made contact with local American Red Cross chapters and FEMA staff, as well as other disaster relief personnel. It was reported that the area was a small community and many of the people had family or churches taking care of immediate needs. The tornado killed 24 people in the state, destroyed hundreds of homes, and related storms brought hail of more than four inches in diameter. Eyewitnesses reported roofs ripped from homes, overturned vehicles, and downed power lines.
Disaster Child Care staff and volunteers were invited to participate in a special one-day training event on Saturday, April 14, titled “Managing the Mental Health Consequences of Disaster.” Maryland Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (MDVOAD) has partnered with Sheppard Pratt Health System of Ellicott City, Md., to provide special training for disaster volunteers, educators, and health care workers. The training was designed for people who wish to be better prepared to address the psychological needs of disaster survivors and their families. Attending the event were Patricia Black of Virginia, Carol and Duane Strickler of West Virginia, Donna Uhig of Pennsylvania, and Disaster Child Care coordinator Helen Stonesifer. Robert and Peggy Roach of Virginia attended the training on April 19.
On April 6, Stonesifer traveled to the National Transportation Safety Board Academy in Ashburn, Va., to share information about Disaster Child Care (DCC) and its Critical Response Childcare Team with those participating in an American Red Cross Critical Response Team Training. The DCC Critical Response team is a component of the American Red Cross team that responds to mass casualty events.
Space is still available for those interested in being trained as a volunteer to learn how to support the needs of children following a disaster at a Disaster Child Care Level I Training Workshop at Deer Park United Methodist Church in Westminster, Md., on Friday and Saturday, April 28-29. A registration form can be downloaded from http://www.disasterchildcare.org/ or obtained by calling 800-451-4407 ext. 5.